Property Managers' Obligations
Property Managers have special requirements when it comes to electrical safety and the law.
All electrical work on the properties you manage must be done in accordance with the OESC (Ontario Electrical Safety Code). This includes securing permits before or within 48 hours of the work starting and getting inspections as required. Even if there is an electrician on staff with your property management company, permits and review of the work by ESA are almost always required.
If your tenants are doing electrical work, ensure they know they also need to follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC).
A property manager or tenant can perform renovations that include electrical work in any unit and in common areas. If the work is contracted out, it must be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Not following the law could put property managers at risk of insurance claims being denied, charges under the Electricity Act, or worse – compromising the safety of tenants and visitors in the building.
Complying with the Law
A new lessee? Renewing a lease? New and existing tenants frequently renovate their space when signing a lease. It’s important to know that renovations, repairs and replacement work involving electrical work needs to be done in compliance with the Code. Here are the four most important considerations when work is planned:
- Hire only an LEC - If you or your tenants are hiring someone to do electrical work, they must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor. Learn more about how Licensed Electrical Contractors help keep you and your tenants safe and how they can save time and money. Building superintendents, unlicensed electricians, general handymen and other service providers cannot do electrical work on your properties unless they hold an ECRA/ESA licence or are employed directly by your property management company. If you or your tenants hire a general contractor, confirm that the electrical work will be done by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
- Doing the work yourself? Follow the OESC - Property managers, tenants and building owners are allowed to do their own electrical work. However they must follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. The Code is updated every three years to address emerging technology and improvements in electrical safety practices. Always refer to the current edition of the Code. Purchase a Code book here.
- Take out a Permit - Virtually all electrical work requires a permit from the Electrical Safety Authority. An electrical “permit” (also called an Application for Inspection) needs to be taken out by the person or party doing the work before or within 48 hours of when the electrical work starts. To confirm permit requirements and to get your permit, call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233). Looking for a streamlined approach for regular electrical maintenance jobs? Learn more about our Continuous Safety Services program. Learn more about our Continuous Safety Services program.
- Get It Inspected - Arrangements for an inspection must be made at each stage of the electrical installation or maintenance work. You can schedule an inspection for an existing permit by calling the Customer Service Centre directly at 1-877-ESA-SAFE. For more information on inspections, download “What you need to know about electrical inspections”.
Find an LEC
Need a Licensed Electrical Contractor?
You can find a Licensed Electrical Contractor or confirm that your contractor holds a valid licence by using ESA's Contractor Locator tool.
You can look up a contractor by postal code, name or even verify that a contractor is licensed by entering their licence number or name.
The Continuous Safety Services (CSS) Program offers property managers a streamlined permit, inspection and safety process to help your business run more efficiently.
More than 28,000 locations across Ontario use ESA’s CSS program. ESA works with diverse businesses to customize programs specific to their needs. For further information or to apply to become a member of the CSS program, call 1-877-854-0079 or email CSS.
Ontario Electrical Safety Code
The Ontario Electrical Safety Code is primarily a technical document and it is prescriptive in approach. The Code describes the standards for electrical installations in detail.